Amy Fearn will claim another landmark in British refereeing history this weekend when she becomes the first woman to take charge of a first-round FA Cup tie.
The mother of two from Staffordshire will be referee at Steel Park, home to Corby Town as they face Dover Athletic.
Fearn, 35, wrote her name in the record books three years ago when she became the first woman to take charge of a match in the Football League.
Whistler: Amy Fearn will become the first woman to referee in the FA Cup first round on Saturday
And she will once more be under the spotlight in the Northamptonshire town as women’s refereeing breaks through another barrier.
The accountant, who started her career under her maiden name of Rayner, hit the headlines seven years ago after a brush with Luton Town manager Mike Newell.
The Hatters boss criticised her performance as an assistant during a defeat by QPR, saying: ‘She shouldn’t be here. I know that sounds sexist, but I’m sexist. This isn’t parks football so what are women doing here?’
His outburst landed him with a £6,500 fine and he later apologised.
Breaking the mould: Wendy Toms (above) and Sian Massey officiated at the highest level in England
‘To be honest, things change, life changes and you are talking to me now because it’s a novelty.
‘It would be nice to reach a situation where it wasn’t. In fairness, I think people in football don’t care as to a person’s sex, colour or creed. If they are a competent referee, they are a competent referee. End of story.
‘Actually, I didn’t know that Amy was to be our referee until a friend texted me this morning. I sent him one back saying, “Fine, no problem”.
‘As long as anyone officiates to the best of their ability and apply the laws properly, then I’m sure myself - and my joint manager Tommy Wright - won’t have a problem. After all, I’m sure we will make mistakes somewhere along the way.
Helping hand: Fearn had to replace the original referee Gary Sutton during a match at Wolves earlier this year
‘And she’ll be treated exactly the same as any other official. I might well ask, “Why didn’t you give that?”, but I’m certainly not going to hold back. If I want clarification, I’m going to ask for it.
‘Having said that, it’s always nice to be part of history for a good reason. And if the subject ever crops up on A Question of Sport, it’s reassuring that I’ll know the answer...’
However, it appears that unlike the two teams on show this Saturday, Fearn won’t have the chance to progress to the third round.
She isn’t qualified to officiate in one of the glamour ties, an honour which belongs to those referees on the national list.
MAKING HISTORY - FEMALE REFEREES
1976: Pat Dunn becomes the first woman to referee a competitive men’s fixture in England, in the Dorset County Sunday League.
1995-96: Wendy Toms is the first woman appointed as assistant referee to a Premier League game.
2000: Toms appointed assistant referee for the League Cup final.
The first: Pat Dunn, a housewife from Weymouth, became the first woman to referee a competitive fixture
2004: Amy Fearn promoted to referee in the Conference.
2010: Fearn is the first woman to referee a Football League match.
2012: Sian Massey is assistant referee for the FA Trophy final